The road doesn’t get any easier this Friday as the Cougars head to LaGrange still looking for that first win of the 2012 season.
LaGrange is 3-2 this year and 2-0 in a region that includes a win over Shaw, 31-14 on Sept. 28. Last week the Grangers dominated Columbus 41-7. LaGrange took a 41-0 lead into halftime behind quarterback Zach Giddens, who completed 8-of-10 passes for 183 yards and four touchdowns.
Giddens is helped out by senior receiver Dee Smith, who is also having a great season so far. Smith had two touchdown receptions last week, including one for a 55-yard score.
Giddens has several other options at receiver as well, including Dee Gates, Demoton Boyd and Qua Baldwin. Both Gates and Boyd had scores against Columbus.
The offense is also led by Mon Denson on the ground, giving the Grangers a multi-dimensional attack.
While the LaGrange offense has been phenomenal this season, the defense has struggled at time and that is what Alexander will need to take advantage to keep the game close.
Despite only allowing seven points to Columbus, the Grangers have allowed at least 20 points in a game twice this season, a 24-21 loss to Newnan, and a 49-42 loss to Thomson.
Alexander has been reeling through the first five games of the season after losing several key players from last year’s squad on both offense and defense.
So far in 2012, AHS has allowed 28.8 points per game while scoring 16.6.
The biggest change has been at QB with the duo of Brian Dansereau and Evan Wood. Last Week, Dansereau took the helm to lead the Cougars to one of the teams two scores. On AHS’s first score Dansereau found tight end Brandon Walton for 26 yards.
Running back Mikell Lands led the drive on the second score.
Defensively, the Cougars struggled last week because of Shaw High’s multi-talented QB Chandler Whittlesey, who was part of six scoring plays, either with his hands or his feet.
This week, AHS’s “D’ will see a similar threat in Giddens. However, Giddens has many more tools around him.
While Alexander struggled defensively last week, if they are to break the currently losing streak, they will need their safeties and linemen to step up this week to keep the talented LaGrange receivers in check. The defensively line will also need to contain the QB, and provide some rush plays.
While the team has struggled, AHS Coach Matt Combs has seen improvements over the season.
“Our physicality has improved and we are becoming more consistent,” he said. “We are still having mental breakdowns in situations but that will get better with practice.”
Combs went on to give his own keys to success against LaGrange, which included stopping and not getting frazzled by the blitz, and sticking to assignments.”
“We need to secure tackles better and sustain blocks longer on offense,” he added. “They will give us a lot of looks [on defense]”
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Directions to LaGrange
Start at Alexander Pkwy and then turn left on Bill Arp Road; Turn left on Main St.; Turn right on Jackson St.; Turn left on Salbide Ave.; Turn right on Greenville St.; Turn right on I-85; Take Exit 18 to LaGrange; Turn right onto Lafayette Pkwy.; Turn right on N Greenwood St.; Arrive at 516 North Greenwood St.. LaGrange, Ga., 30240.